Taxpayers’ declarations to be checked for money laundering

Taxpayers’ declarations to be checked for money laundering

ISLAMABAD: Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) has been allowed to obtain information of taxpayers from tax authorities to check income tax returns and other declarations for money laundering and terror financing.

The FMU has been granted access to taxpayers’ data through amendment introduced to Section 216 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001. The amendment has been brought through Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2001.

Under Section 216 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001, public servants are barred from disclosing any information relating to income tax filings, evidences or proceedings of any taxpayer.

Certain exceptions to this general prohibition are also contained in the said section whereby information may be disclosed to specified persons, organizations or authorities.

By way of an amendment made through the Second Amendment Ordinance, Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) established under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 has been included in the list of such exceptions which do not fall within the ambit of confidentiality clause contained in Section 216, tax experts at PwC A F Ferguson Chartered Accountants said.

This amendment is intended to enable FMU to better implement anti-money laundering procedures by directly obtaining necessary information from public servants.

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